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Recap: Mystics, Aces score big wins on Wednesday night

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On Wednesday, the Mystics held on to defeat the Sun while the Aces are on a winning streak.

Elena Delle Donne, Washington Mystics Ned Dishman/Getty Images

On Wednesday, there were two WNBA games on, all featuring stars performing at their best. But the story of the night was the biggest comeback in league history.

Aces start their first winning streak with 78-63 win over the Liberty

The Las Vegas Aces (3-7) defeated the New York Liberty (3-5) 78-63 Wednesday night at the Westchester County Arena. A’ja Wilson didn’t score 35 points like she did against the Fever on Tuesday. In fact, she had an off night, scoring 13 points and grabbing only two rebounds despite playing nearly 30 minutes. However, Kayla McBride scored 16 points and Dearica Hamby added 17 more off the bench in the win.

For the Liberty, Tina Charles scored 19 points but she only grabbed one rebound. No other Liberty player scored in double digits. Here are some other takeaways:

  • Ji-Su Park is quietly getting her time - The Korean rookie center has started five of the Aces’ 10 games this season. She has also played at least 13 minutes in each of Las Vegas’ last five games and is a steady rebounder. In fact she came into last night’s game averaging 10.9 rebounds per 36 minutes played. Park did not come into the WNBA with the media attention that Sparks center Maria Vadeeva has. But Park could very well be one of the “diamonds in the rough” for the 2018 rookie class once the season ends.
  • Dearica Hamby is shooting lights out - Hamby is making 65 percent of her shots in the 2018 season and averaging 8.5 points a game despite playing quite a bit less (just 12 minutes a game) than she did last year. If this holds up, Hamby has to get more time on the court.

Mystics end three-game losing streak with 95-91 win over the Sun

The Washington Mystics (6-4) started their season with a 5-1 record but came into Wednesday’s game on a three-game losing streak. They defeated the Connecticut Sun (7-2) on the road, 95-91, but this was not a back and forth affair. The Mystics should have put this game away early but didn’t. In fact, there were times when it looked like Connecticut would complete the first comeback from a 30 point deficit in WNBA history.

Washington raced off to a 30-point lead in the first half thanks to a combined 42 points from Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver. But in the third quarter, Courtney Williams scored 16 of her team-high 34 points to get Connecticut in striking distance. In fact, the Sun were leading in the fourth quarter — until Delle Donne scored ten consecutive points to give Washington the boost it needed to escape with a win.

And Toliver, who made five threes in the first half but was quiet for much of the second half, made this long three with a minute to go and help seal the deal. Delle Donne finished with 36 points and Toliver had 35 to give Washington a much-needed win against a top-tier team.

Here are some takeaways from this exciting game:

  • Delle Donne delivers the signature performance Mystics fans have been waiting for - Delle Donne is Washington’s best player and the face of the franchise. But she never truly had a clutch and dominant performance this season until tonight. In past Mystics seasons, Washington would have let this game slip away, partly because they were without a true franchise player who could score at will. Giving up Stefanie Dolson, Kahleah Copper, and a first round pick to the Sky last year is a heavy price for Delle Donne. But performances like these are worth that price, especially when the team needs a boost.
  • Courtney Williams has a breakout game - This is Williams’ second straight 20 point game. The Sun has many All-Star talents like Jonquel Jones, Chiney Ogwumike, Alyssa Thomas, and Jasmine Thomas, so sometimes, Williams is forgotten a little bit. After all, she is the only ”non-All-Star” on Connecticut‘s starting five. But after this performance, don’t expect teams to just let her go off again. If Williams keeps these performances up, she will easily make the 2018 All-Star Game.